“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
This quote resonates today more than ever, as we find the majority of people still working from home.
The faceless dictator often arises without repercussions barking orders and overwhelming their people, with a barrage of emails. Instead of simple correspondence to check the state of matters and ensure their people are safe, well, and can handle the workload.
Many people who are not back in the office or back working in person, may see those still teleworking as lucky. Maybe many are, but it can be overwhelming and can affect your physical as well as mental health.
Many believe that working from home is great and more relaxed. They can have maximum productivity and many bosses feel they can inundate their employees with even more duties and responsibilities. Many might feel overwhelmed by the number of changes, the many emails, and the changes in their work lives. So it is important to manage not just your expectations, but the expectations others have of you and give yourself understanding and forgiveness for what you cannot do.
Begin to navigate the transition smoothly, understand your limitations, and create dedicated workspaces so you can walk away and break free from the computer.
Managers and Directors may not take heed to the above quote but don't be afraid to say, "Hey, I'm overwhelmed", "let's set up a phone call", or simply take a mental health day.
Self-preservation and the understanding of Self are crucial now and if people and bosses don't understand this may cause an extra layer of anxiety.
Start your day and end your day on a schedule. Try not to be tempted to grab the computer, during your downtime. You may find that day has gotten away from you and you have worked the entire day away without a break.
In a poll, it was found that teleworking has a significant impact on people's mental health, with 67% saying they felt less connected to their colleagues and 56% saying they found it harder to switch off. However only a third of respondents had been offered support with their mental health (34%) from their employer. https://www.rsph.org.uk/about-us/news/survey-reveals-the-mental-and-physical-health-impacts-of-home-working-during-covid-19.html
The teleworker can be isolated, depressed, and feel less connected with the outside world as being tethered to the computer becomes part of the daily routine.
Here are some ideas to get through the day:
- Have a workout schedule: Set time to get up and get out of the house to walk, run workout
- Take a break: You get so wrapped up in tasks, the day will just get away from you. Set a lunch break and leave or at least close the computer and do something other than work.
- Don't forget friends and family: If you are feeling bogged down, call friends and family. Let them hear your voice, and share your emotions and how you are feeling
- Seek help: If you need to take it a step further, talk to your manager or boss and maybe schedule time in the office for a day or so, or seek professional therapy. We all have a fear of being "the complainer" but your mental health is not complaining it's saving. Saving yourself and your mental health.
Being well is not just staying home due to COVID-19, it also means being mentally balanced and maintaining a work-life balance at all costs.
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